What To Look For When Buying A Garden Room

How to choose the best garden room supplier

Outdoor rooms have become very popular in the UK as they are versatile garden spaces that can be used for a multitude of different purposes.

Garden rooms come in many formats with varying qualities and different prices which can be very confusing.

It is important for you to do your own research to fully understand these differences and to avoid any disappointments once you have purchased your new garden room and it has been installed in your desired location.

A new garden room is a major purchase and getting the right supplier first time will ensure you will get the finished product of your dreams!

Whilst it's easy to compare different suppliers solely on price there is so much more to compare especially when you delve deeper into the specifications.

Oeco is a garden room supplier with over 16 years of experience and one of the earliest UK manufacturers, we know the problems you need to be aware of or that may arise and can offer some advice and tips on what to look out.

Does the company have a showroom?

Having a physical showroom is probably the single best way a company can demonstrate to a customer the standards of their products and craftsmanship. Surprisingly most garden room companies do not have a showroom and simply rely on a website.

However, if you can`t see the finished product you could end up being very disappointed.

We know that having a physical place to visit makes people confident that they are dealing with a reputable company. It also allows them an opportunity to meet the people in the company.

Visiting our showrooms is by far the best way to see first hand the high quality of our garden rooms and compare the different designs, sizes and options available to you.

Our two showrooms are amongst the finest in the industry, showcasing 10 fully furnished garden rooms.

Come visit us and you will be able to ask any questions (no pushy salesmen!) and obtain really useful advice from our helpful and professional people that know everything about garden rooms.

Customer reviews and feedback

Customer reviews are also a very important aspect they as establish the companies reputation and give an idea of its credibility.

If a garden room company has good customer reviews it means customers are more likely to trust the company as they can see first-hand what previous customers have to say about their experiences and what they think about the finished product.

Most businesses will have customer reviews on their website which will show their own business in a positive light but it is much better to check their reviews on other online platforms.

Oeco Garden Rooms uses the online review platform TrustStar and these are linked to our website for potential customer to read.

An independent review platform will show honest reviews about the company, which cannot be controlled by the business.

It is always advisable to read at least 5 or 6 customer reviews to get a good idea of what people think of the company.

Transparent fixed cost pricing

Nobody likes hidden costs!. We understand that most people would prefer to know the exact cost upfront before making a decision to purchase.

When comparing different companies it is advised to compare all the garden room components, options, build quality including foundations, delivery and on-site installation are included in the price.

Many garden room companies will charge an additional fee for many options that should be included in a garden room price and charge extra for these including foundations and delivery to your location.

At Oeco we believe in total price transparency. As a matter of course we will always provide you with a fixed cost for the purchase and installation of a garden room at your home.

We do not charge an additional fees for delivery and on-site installation around mainland UK. Our central location allows us to get to most areas of the country in a matter of a few hours.

We even give a number of extras free of charge!

At Oeco garden rooms we believe we offer the complete garden room package as standard and include everything you need for your new garden space.

However, as an added bonus we like to go one step (or a few steps!) above the competition and include a range of free optional extras and upgrades to enhance your buying experience with Oeco.

A large proportion of our garden room sales are from referrals from existing customers, as we know that the more we can offer a customer the more referrals we receive from family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

Throughout the year we offer a range of optional extras and upgrades, free of charge, including:

Composite or timber decking across the entire front of a garden room, brushed aluminium double sockets, light switches and external LED lights, 1.5Kw slimline glass panel heater, external waterproof double electrical sockets, waterbutt with filter, tap and stand, acoustic insulation upgrades and Click Smart hubs to enable you to control all your electrical devices inside the garden room from your smartphone.

Construction within permitted development rules

Garden rooms are considered to be permitted development, so while not needing planning permission they are still subject to certain limits and conditions. These conditions do need to be adhered to!

Permitted development rules mainly refer to heights and distances from boundaries.

Be very wary of any company stating they will build your new garden room close to or on your boundary line, attach it to your property or in your front garden just to obtain a sale.

In the end the owner of the property is responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules.

If the planning rules are not adhered to you will most likely end up having disputes with the company, your neighbours, the local planning department and run the risk of having to remove the garden room at your own expense.

Although we are asked to build our garden rooms in locations that would fall outside of the permitted development rules we will always politely refuse.

Bespoke buildings as standard

Over the years at Oeco we have found that many customer like to create their own bespoke garden room with their own unique touches.

As long as the building is square, rectangular or L shaped (or combinations of) we can easily accommodate your requirements. We can also construct any size: height, width and depth as long as it is within the permitted development limits.

All Oeco garden rooms are hand built on site by professional joiners and tradesmen. We use traditional timber frame construction which allows you the client to be in total control of the design and finished product.

Trying to decide where everything needs to go prior to the installation team arriving tends to create stress and disappointment if its not exactly as you perceived your garden room would look in once finished.

Our standard bespoke service enables you to decide on site (during the construction stages) where you want to position the doors and window, exactly where you prefer the lighting and light switches, the position of the 4 double electrical sockets and any optional extras that have been ordered.

Build quality

One of the most important factors when considering who to buy your new garden room from is to carefully scrutinise the build quality of a few UK suppliers.

Many companies will advertise a product as a "garden room" when it is simply a glorified garden shed! By far the biggest difference between garden room prices is the actual components used and the build quality.

Here at Oeco we like to think of our buildings as mini houses. All our buildings are constructed in a similar fashion to a new house. We only use only the very best materials to construct our quality garden rooms and each structure offers unparalleled levels of insulation to ensure it is usable all year round.

Our levels of insulation meet & exceed building regulations and inside you will find professionally plastered walls & ceilings complete with timber prepainted skirting boards - exactly like a room in your house!

We know product quality is paramount as it ensures complete customer satisfaction and over the decades it has helped us establish a very good reputation in the garden room market.

A choice of external claddings

The external cladding of a garden room is another important factor to consider.

The main benefits of external cladding include: Aesthetic choice, low maintenance, structural safeguarding, added insulation and value to your property.

In today's ever changing world, we have noticed a shift in customer preferences and as such we have evolved Oeco to offer a range of different external cladding for all of our different models and designs.

As well as offering traditional timber claddings such as western red cedar and thermowood we also offer fibre cement, composite and stone clad exteriors in a choice of different colours.

We have had many customers who have chosen to mix and match our different cladding options to create a truly unique appearance.

For example, the picture above shows the combination of dark grey stone slate with western red cedar.

Luxury professionally plastered interior

Look beyond the glossy external shots and take a close look at the internal pictures.

It's easy to miss that many companies install an array of different internal finishes on the walls and ceilings, including: metal, vinyl, melamine, chipboard, and plastic boards. The only real reason - for this is to reduce time on site and cost!

At Oeco, we view these as sub-standard finishes, incomparable to traditional plaster board and skimmed walls and ceilings that go into all Oeco constructed garden rooms as standard.

Our experienced installation teams take the time and effort to provide the ultimate internal finish to your new garden room.

It also adds additional insulation and contributes to improved energy efficiency, giving you a garden room finished to the same high standards as a UK new home.

Insulated to building regulations

What's worse than completing your new Garden Room only to find out it is only habitable half the year.

As Garden Rooms are not covered by building regulations it's not a legal requirement for garden room companies to insulate their buildings to the standards you would normally expect on a new home.

At Oeco, we like to go one step further than the competition and as standard we automatically include the necessary amount of insulation required in the roof, walls and floor to comply with UK Building Regulations Part L.

We use a combination of combination of Kingspan and Knauf insulation product (market leaders) together with air vented walls to achieve a thermally efficient room than will require minimal heating in winter, saving energy and unnecessary heating costs.

This results in a building with a low U-value, meaning the building is a good heat insulator and your new outdoor room can be used all year round.

Concrete and steel pile foundations

Any building is only as good as its foundation system, and garden rooms are certainly no different. When choosing a garden room supplier it is very important to ask whether or not the foundations are included in the price, as not all do, potentially increasing the cost by thousands.

In addition, check the type of foundations available. Breeze blocks, pads, timber frames or ground jacks all sitting on top of the ground don't often work as long term solutions as these often move over time or with bad weather, meaning your outdoor structure will too.

Oeco include concrete and steel pile foundations as standard. Our specialist foundation system utilises concrete foundations with integrated galvanised steel bars and base plates. We excavate down into the ground; a steel bar with a base plate is inserted into the excavated hole and then filled with concrete. The concrete pads and steel piles are positioned at specific intervals and bolted to the timber floor framework to completely support the garden room. The piles are positioned at regular intervals across the entire width and depth of the timber base. This method of foundation system is the preferred system by county councils, especially when a garden room is to be located near to trees or large shrubs.

Traditional timber frame construction

There are two main types of construction methods available for building garden rooms.

The first is a modular panel system which involves building the different components in a factory, which are then bolted together on site. The advantages of this system are a lower manufacturing cost and increased speed of assembly & installation. The disadvantage of a modular system is that it offers no flexibility in the design and construction and you are restricted to certain sizes. In addition, premade panels are poorly insulated often using between 25mm-50mm of insulation.

The second is traditional timber frame construction, which Oeco uses to construct on-site by professional joiners. This method allows you to be in total control of the design and finished structure and also enables us to install thicker insulation (100mm) to meet building regulations.

Although it takes longer to construct on site it allows us to create bespoke sizes and designs as well as our customers being able to decide some alterations to their garden room design during construction; a service that most other companies are not able to provide.

Room to breathe

Something that is often overlooked by customers is the benefits of having a properly ventilated garden room.

Although a our rooms needs to have excellent insulation it is important to have good air flow around the structure to help it breathe.

Oeco's double air vented walls and moisture vapour barrier avoids the issues caused by poor ventilation, such as; cold spots, condensation, damp, high u-values and health side effects.

Our breathing membrane acts like a one-way valve and allows natural moisture to escape out of the building - but prevents moisture from entering the building.

In addition, all our traditional timber framed garden rooms incorporate double air vented timber walls.

The first vent allows air to circulate between the outer timber cladding and the breathing membrane. The second vent allows air to circulate between the breathing membrane and the internal thermal insulation panels.

Premium doors and windows

As the only major moving parts of a garden room it is necessary to ensure that that high quality doors and windows with reliable opening and locking mechanisms are included.

Each door and window needs to have efficient thermal insulation properties resulting in minimum heat lose in winter and reduced heat gain in summer.

The glazing is also of utmost importance for good thermal values, also contributing to substantial energy savings.

All Oeco rooms are supplied with high quality PVC-u doors and windows manufactured by one of the UK's leading manufacturers.

As standard, all our doors and windows are supplied in Anthracite (dark grey) profiles on the outside and white on the inside. Our sleek patio and sliding patio door systems are fitted with a very smooth operating mechanism for ease of opening and secure locking.

All doors and windows are fitted with high-security insurance-approved multipoint locking systems to give your garden room maximum protection.

Comprehensive electrics package

There is no doubt that you will require power, lighting and heating inside your new garden room.

It is recommended to check what electrical items and components are included as standard.

As standard Oeco will supply 4 x 13amp double electrical sockets which can be positioned in locations of your choice. Normally a double socket is positioned in each corner of the garden room. An internal LED light panel is also installed complete with a light switch. The LED light panels offer excellent internal lighting and are energy efficient - typically using 40 Watts.

It's also worth noting how the electrical wiring is fitted - is it concealed inside the internal walling or simple stuck in plastic conduit around the walls and ceiling?

All Oeco garden rooms come complete with all the electrical wiring concealed inside the timber walls. The internal wiring leads back to an internal consumer unit which is electrically tested to Part P by a qualified electrician ready to be connected to the mains supply.

10 year structural guarantee as standard

For most people, buying a new garden room is a major purchase. It's no wonder, then, that buyers are interested in a guarantee to protect their investment.

Most garden room companies will offer some form of guarantee but it's better to ask as it might not always be the case.

It's important to choose a company that offers a long guarantee and one from a well-established company. We have been in business since 2006 constructing 1000`s of garden rooms nationwide.

For total peace of mind, all our garden rooms are covered by a 10-year structural guarantee. This covers design and manufacturing faults, material failure, corrosion and rot for 10 years from the date of installation.

Our garden rooms are built by skilled craftsmen using quality materials, however, you can rest assured that should a problem occur in the future we will rectify it quickly to your complete satisfaction.

Not all Garden Rooms are built the same!

We have been designing, redesigning and perfecting our garden rooms since 2006 and we genuinely believe that we offer the very best garden room structures, built from quality materials, fully insulated and finished to a very high standard together with competitive pricing.

We are the only garden room company that actively asks potential customers to compare our specifications, offers and pricing.

Why do we do this? Quite simply we monitor all our competitors and from detailed research, we are confident in our business model.

From our online customer testimonials, you can read that many clients comments that they were very glad to have chosen Oeco Garden Rooms!

No matter which garden room company you eventually choose to supply your new garden room we hope that this information has been useful to you!

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